Boise crews, equipment helping ACHD in snow removal effort

Posted at 1:46 PM, Jan 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-05 15:46:13-05

The City of Boise is marshaling equipment and resources to clear snow from key streets, sidewalks and drains in downtown Boise, essential transit routes and residential areas across the city, according to Boise City spokesman Mike Journee.

While the Ada County Highway District has the primary responsibility for maintaining streets throughout the city, historic snowfall in recent days has left many key transit routes largely impassible -- creating serious challenges for residents and businesses. Additionally, warmer weather and potentially significant rain over the weekend and early next week may create drainage challenges that could be alleviated with an ongoing snow removal effort.

“We are pulling all necessary personnel, equipment and other resources into the effort to do what we can with the City of Boise’s limited snow removal capabilities,” said Mayor David Bieter. “ACHD’s efforts are unable to keep up with such a significant weather event, so the City of Boise is doing all it can to assist. It is essential that we get our roads and sidewalks clear as soon as possible so that people can get to and from work, school and the grocery store.”

“City of Boise crews are focusing on clearing sidewalks and on-street parking in the downtown area to make transit routes in the city’s densest area more accessible,” Journee said.

Downtown Boise’s 200 businesses employ nearly 40 percent of Boise’s workforce, making it the top priority for the snow removal effort, he added.

Downtown employees and visitors are asked to use parking garages and to avoid using on-street parking, so that crews will be unobstructed in their work. At the request of Mayor Bieter and members of the Boise City Council, parking in the six downtown garages operated by the Capital City Development Corporation will be free on Thursday, Jan. 5 and Friday, Jan. 6 to help facilitate the downtown snow-clearing effort.

“Partnerships are essential during an event like this,” said Boise City Council President Elaine Clegg. 
In addition to downtown, the City of Boise is working on plans to remove snow from sidewalks along major arterial transit corridors, clearing the way for residents who need access public transit. Planning is also underway to supplement ACHD’s ongoing effort to clear residential streets across the city.

Because the City of Boise relies on ACHD to maintain its street system, it does not have a streets department -- and its only significant fleet of snow removal equipment is maintained at the Boise Airport. Currently, that equipment is engaged around-the-clock in keeping the airport operational and runways cleared.

“As a result, resources for the larger snow removal effort are being marshaled from several other City of Boise departments and facilities,” Journee said.